Transfection of Theileria parva and the role of genes encoding QP-rich proteins in host-parasite interactions

  • Dorny, Pierre (Promotor)
  • Geysen, Dirk (Coordinator)
  • DOBBELAERE, Dirk (Partner)

    Project Details


    This proposal aims at developing stable transfection in T. parva through a systematic approach
    starting with transient transfection, identification of suitable promoter
    regions and the development of suitable selectable markers to be used in
    integration plasmids. The use of a new generation transfection device and the
    expertise in large sporozoite stabilate production should contribute
    significantly to its success.

    The transfection of T. parva
    sporozoites will enable us to investigate several aspects of this unique
    host-parasite interaction. The project will focus on the function of genes
    encoding QP-rich proteins.  Some insight
    gained from previous research and a set of preliminary results related to these
    genes is already available, but several important questions remain that can
    only be addressed through transfection experiments. In particular the pattern
    of expression and the role of PIM and the SVSP gene family in host-parasite
    interactions will be further explored. This will involve the construction of
    plasmids allowing the stable expression of fluorescently tagged parasite
    proteins. This will enable a detailed exploration of protein localization and
    interactions with host cell structures, providing important clues on the
    potential function of these genes in Theileria-transformed

    In a later phase, various partial gene deletion constructs will be
    generated to investigate in detail the expression and interaction of specific
    parasite protein domains with host cell components or cellular structures. The
    possibility of using stably expressed tagged forms of PIM, SVSP or other
    candidate proteins in the search for host cell proteins that interact with
    these parasite proteins in their ‘natural’ context will also be explored.

    The use of fluorescently tagged parasites opens up the possibility to
    look at parasite differentiation and monitor the influence of drugs like tetracycline
    on parasite development in in vitro
    cultures. In the long run, this research might open up novel approaches towards
    immunization against this important tropical cattle pathogen.

    Effective start/end date1/09/0831/12/11


    • Flemish Government - Department of Economy, Science & Innovation: €163,300.00


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